2006/04/28

Limbaugh Reaches Settlement in Drug Case

By BRIAN SKOLOFF,
Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 9 minutes ago

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Rush Limbaugh and prosecutors in the long-running prescription fraud case against him have reached a deal calling for the only charge against the conservative commentator to be dropped without a guilty plea if he continues treatment, his attorney said Friday.

Limbaugh turned himself in to authorities on a warrant filed Friday charging him with fraud to conceal information to obtain prescriptions, said Teri Barbera, a spokeswoman for the Palm Beach County Jail. He and his attorney Roy Black left about an hour later, after Limbaugh was photographed and fingerprinted and he posted $3,000 bail, Barbera said.

Prosecutors' three-year investigation of Limbaugh began after he publicly acknowledged being addicted to pain medication and entered a rehabilitation program. They accused Limbaugh of "doctor shopping," or illegally deceiving multiple doctors to receive overlapping prescriptions, after learning that he received about 2,000 painkillers, prescribed by four doctors in six months, at a pharmacy near his Palm Beach mansion.

Limbaugh, who pleaded not guilty Friday, has steadfastly denied doctor shopping. Black said the charge will be dismissed in 18 months if Limbaugh complies with court guidelines.

"Mr. Limbaugh and I have maintained from the start that there was no doctor shopping, and we continue to hold this position," Black said in an e-mailed statement.

Limbaugh spokesman Tony Knight said the commentator signed the agreement Thursday, and that it called for him to enter the not guilty plea. "It's not in the system moving toward trial. It was all a formality. It's a concluded deal," Knight said.

Mike Edmondson, a spokesman for the state attorney's office, said prosecutors had not yet received the signed agreement.

"I am not disputing the facts, the conditions that Black represented, but until his client signed the agreement, we don't have a full agreement," Edmondson said. "I am sure it's just a timeline issue."

He refused to comment further.

As a primary condition of the dismissal, Limbaugh must continue to seek treatment from the doctor he has seen for the past 2 1/2 years, Black said. Among other provisions, he also has agreed to pay the state $30,000 to defray its investigative costs, Black said.

The warrant alleges that sometime between February and August 2003, Limbaugh withheld information from a medical practitioner from whom he sought to obtain a controlled substance or a prescription for a controlled substance.
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I bet this mother fucker gets off with a slap on the wrist, un-fucking believable!!!!!!!!

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